12 December 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different

Well...sort of.  First of all, this is my December entry for the Monthly Sewing Challenge.  And while it's a mundane sewing project, it IS a sewing project - it didn't seem right next to furniture makeovers and decoupaged weirdness going on over at Pushing Furniture.  When this project is finished, I'll likely link back over there, though.

Maybe I'll photograph myself in it sitting in my backyard, and then we can get all three blogs into the act.


So, you may remember the navy blue, rayon, paisley, challis/satin that I ordered back in May.  This stuff:

I got it [because it was on clearance] thinking that it would make pretty court garb, but the pattern is far too modern to look even remotely right in a period style.  So it went in a box.

However, I've accepted an invitation to something really, really cool:  a friends' holiday dinner at a very fancy restaurant, at which we're all to dress in at least semi-formal attire.  WOOHOO!!!  I haven't gotten to dress *UP* in Mundania in SO LONG!!  So long, actually, that I didn't own anything to wear to a fancy-dress dinner party.

So I had to come up with something fast, and cheap.  I had an idea of what I wanted, actually, because I've been commenting on half the formal wear pins on my Pinterest boards that, "This is what I want, if I ever get to wear formal wear again."

This was the picture I ended up choosing for my main inspiration.  The pin doesn't go anywhere, sadly;  it's captioned as a 1930s evening gown, but with no other information.

After spending hours perusing patterns online, and narrowing it down to four or five that I thought could be made to work, I called a friend of mine, who OWNS ALL THE PATTERNS.   I picked out two patterns from her stock that I thought would work for what I wanted.

This was the first:  Simplciity 3503.  There's a high back and a halter back option for view A (the long beige one) that I could make look like the inspiration picture.

Sadly, since the pattern was too small, and I was going to have to do SO much work not just upsizing the pattern itself, but also adjusting for a MUCH larger bustline (DD) than the pattern allows for, that it basically makes it not worth my time to use this pattern . Which was my favorite.

The second option was Butterick B5710, which is very modern in shaping, so, in addition to re-sizing the pattern, and adjusting the bust, and removing the drape in the front....and adding a midriff piece...and a completely different back....wait...plus a shaped, flat front skirt piece?  On these hips?  Nope.

So, oh, crap...now I didn't have a pattern to work with. Again.  Mind you, this is after two hours of studying the pattern instructions for both of these gowns, pulling out and measuring and sketching and re-drafting some of the pieces, until I finally gave up on each one.

There was a pattern I'd had in mind in the beginning that I'd discarded, mentally, because I couldn't find it online or in Lorrie's stash.  If only I had that one.

BUT LO!!  When did I buy this?!  This was the one I had been thinking of, all this time, but I don't remember purchasing it!  Hallelujah!

The shaping on this one, on the finished piece, is similar to the Simplicity pattern above, but the inverted-V-shaped waistline is elasticized instead of being an actual midriff panel (which, to be honest, is fine with me).  Since this pattern was, miraculously, already the right size and shape for me (how the...?!), the pieces themselves took VERY little alteration, only stylistically.

The structural and stylistic changes I've made/am making to the pattern as printed are:
  • View:  sleeveless, deep-V option
  • Not using the triangular modesty insert in the bustline at the V-neck. Cleavage or GTFO. 
  • Length extended to evening length, so that the front hemline hits the vamp of my shoe (top of foot, opposite the arch) 
  • Split the back into two pieces (it was a single piece on a fold), flared he back opening and extended the center low point a bit so that when finished, the back opening would drape open like the top picture, just a little bit.  
  • Scrapped the pattern's neckline and front opening facings and created my own, both to face the new back opening, and to support the fabric at the front and back openings, since it's lightweight and drape-y (flutter in the back, lay-flat in the front). 
  • Using a ruffle-edged decorative elastic band on the outside at the waistline, instead of an elastic casing on the inside of that seam.  Is for pretty. 
  • Also for pretty: faced the inside of the neckline and back with a lightweight decorative gimp in the same color as the fabric, for a pretty, lacy edge.  

Finished pics soon!   :D


26 November 2013

You, Madam, Are Out of Order.

In what I'm sure is an adorable attempt to keep up with things I say I'm going to do  ...

*pauses for laughter from the audience*

I return to October's Monthly Sewing Challenge, which you may remember from this post.   While I did not finish the purple 12th century gown in October, I DID finish it this month, and will have pictures for you very soon.

In the meantime, I DO have pictures for you of my 13th century cylcas surcote, done in Caerleon's heraldry, for the War of the Rams at BAM last Saturday:*

All linen, with machine embroidery around the edges of the neckline and sleeve openings.  And for once, worn with all appropriate and period layers (with some modern ones thrown in.  It was fücking cold):

  • knee socks
  • knee boots
  • leggings
  • linen braies
  • cotton chemise (white)
  • linen underdress (green - and this is actually my plain beige underdress that you've seen me wear with my blue Viking apron dress.  I dyed it last week for this event).  
  • Linen cyclas
  • Hair: net snood, barbette, and linen pie crust hat.  I was also wearing a veil and/or scarf wrapped around my head and neck most of the event, as well as...
  • a "cloak" which was a plush lap blanket from Waldemart that I picked up for $4 at the last minute to wrap around my shoulders
I was SO WARM.  Man, all those layers feel like walking around bundled up in blankets.  Yay!  

mostly the whole thing

Cotton duck screen-printed lions satin-
stiched in place, and tongues painted with
50% mixture fabric glue and craft acrylics

Bonus project for November:

A long tunic for one of my very favorite
Vikings up in the Steppes area (Dallas). 

Green and black machine-embroidery on the
neck facing. 

Evidently I'm on a machine-embroidery kick lately.

Wait til you see December's project.  :)

SO ANYWAY, now that you've seen November's project (s)...I'll put up pics of October's project later in the week, LOL.  And then maybe afterwards I'll have my poop in a group enough to get things done and posted on time.  ;)

*  Very short event review:  fücking cold. 

20 November 2013

In Which Our Heroine Is Up 'Til 3am

An  11' flattened tube of black linen, 3" wide, all machine-"embroidered" (it's just fancy stitches my machine does).  I'd started with the white and yellow, thinking "silver and gold on black", but then somehow it became a "garden" of green "turf", red "flowers", and blue edging for water around the outside of the white "fence."

Yeah, I have no idea.  It was 3am.  I went through FOUR SPOOLS OF THREAD.  All stuff I had laying around not being used, so, no big.  It also took me just over four hours.  But now I have a pretty, and looooong, cloth belt to wrap and use with my bliauts and things like that.

Tiny picture is tiny.  This is just a plastic "pearl" button.  I painted the "pearl" with red nail polish, LOL, and will be sewing it to the front V of my new purple dress.  As a centerpiece, yes; but also to cover up a place where the decorative stitching is a bit f'd up.  I promise the red doesn't look this plastic and pinky in real life.  You'll see.  :)

Three days and counting!


19 November 2013

A Poopy Purple Preview

*Nothing* I could do could make this color come out right in pictures, so, I'm posting these now (because the dress is DONE!), and I'll bring you daylight, outdoor pics of me IN the dress after the event this week:

Finally, finally finished.  This was supposed to be done by the end of SEPTEMBER, you guys.

This is the purple antique satin I bought at Gulf Wars (rayon/slk), with black linen on the trim.  It's not lined - it's cross-woven, so the inside of the fabric is black.

This stuff was HAIRY AS CRAP.  And Fray-Check rolled right off the stuff, and what little soaked in spread too far and just gunked up everything, so I had to keep trimming and tucking and wiping little purple "ants" and black hairs off of EVERYTHING.  ARGH.  

12th century pendant-sleeved gown - basically a bliaut with a different sleeve - as shown here, and here. They actually hang down well past my fingertips, since they're meant to be turned back and pinned in place.

Yeah.  Photo editing.  Phuck it.

The black linen trim, with some white machine embroidery on it.  I did the same thing around the sleeve bands and the edges of the sleeve openings.  Oh, and around the hemline, too.  Yay, machine embroidery.

The whole time my dog kept coming in and looking at me like, "Moooooom.  Are you dooooone yet??"  *mope*

Not finished yet:  a looooong black linen belt to be worn along with this.

Also to go with: my pie crust hat and barbette, and long silk veil.

I'll wear my all-purpose underdress (it's just a long, long-sleeved, loose cote with a keyhole neckline, untrimmed, beige) underneath it...and I may actually be dyeing it tonight.  Ve shall zee.

To be continued...


12 November 2013

T- 10 Days and Counting

Until Bordermarch Autumn Melees, that is.  I can't wait!

So I kinda waited until the last minute (10 days out is the last minute), and still needed a replacement for my Caerleon uniform sleeves.  I haven't had money to buy fabric, and I didn't have time to wait to order some;  but I managed to find a friend who had some Ansteorran-gold linen (this) she was willing to sell me.  Three yards of it - not enough to do a cotehardie of any stripe the way I normally do.

After the last post, I almost...almost...made a "gates of hell" type 14th century sideless surcote.  But (a) I didn't have enough black to make trim for one of those, and (b) I'm seriously digging my pie hat, and wanted to wear it again.

And so:

This is where we start.  Note that the pattern is sized XS, S, M, indicating that I've owned this since I was in high school.

Fortunately, though I currently rock a size 20, this dress is cut loosely enough that I didn't even have to add anything to the girth for my new garb.

All I did, in fact, was to lower and armholes to just above my natural waistline (the blue pencil line).  I left the neckline alone.

I did cut gores to put into the sides, but it turned out, I didn't need them.  The skirt was full enough for me on its own.

The only other change I made to the original pattern, aside from the arm holes, was to add 10" to the hemline to make it floor-length on me.

This is by no means finished - I still need to put the lions on (and decide where they go), as well as paint the company motto along the neckline and sleeve trim, but the body of the dress is finished.

This is a 12th century women's cyclas, which started out as what we call a "tabbard", and evolved into the ubiquitous "gates of hell" sideless surcote later.

I'll  be wearing it over a plain black cotehardie, with my pie-crust fillet and barbette.  Not sure if I'll wear the veil or not yet.

I'm also not sure about the lions down the whole front, either.

I rather like them arranged like this - still vertically, but lower on the front, below the belt line (which is just below the bottom of the side slits).

I'm still playing with ideas.  Mostly because the other night, when I took these pictures, I was completely out of black thread.  (What??)  I'm picking some up tonight on the way home; but then I have to rush home and cleanup for guests I have coming later in the week.  If I end up with time to finish this dress, I'll show you guys - and of course, there will be event pics in two weeks.


P.S. - I love the way this fits, looks, and feels, so very much, already, that I'm already planning TWO more.  I have yet to make a heraldic anything - and this would be a FANTASTIC format for my device.  Also, a friend gave me four yards of a *lovely* blue silk that I think, together with some gold brocade, might make a gorgeous cyclas  or even a long-sleeved loose cotte!  Ve shall zee.


04 November 2013

To-Do List for November

Oh, man, I just remembered that I used to do a month-in-review.  I'm such crap at remembering stuff like that, wow.


The big event in November is "BAM":  Bordermarch Autumn Melees.  It's kind of a big deal in Ansteorra.  I can't go all four days, only three, but I'm excited as all hockeysticks about it, lemmetellya (last year I could only daytrip the event, and I missed SO much!!)

I'm digging the early-Medieval kick I've been on lately, and I can't wait to do more.  I've decided BAM this year will be my impetus, and my showcase.  Heh.  Listen to me talking like I'm actually going to get shit done around here.


And so, I have three weeks in which to:

  • trace a pattern from the blue surcote pictured above, which was borrowed from a friend, and make one for myself.  I have a green cotton I've been wondering what to do with, and I think it'd be perfect if I have enough.  
  • Finish the purple dress!!!  
  • Locate my batiste veil, or make a new larger veil from a lightweight linen to wear with my barbette, fillet, and pie-crust hat, because the silk veil in the picture is too sheer, I think.  It works best when there's a fancy hairdo underneath, or jewelry I want to show.   
  • Create a new Caerleon uniform for myself, based on this style, because the sleeveage I made before Gulf War isn't quite working anymore (read:  I've gained enough weight that the black dress I wore them with is far too small)

Bonus points for: 
  • Making myself a new pair of linen buskins/socks
  • A second hat for the period, this one in blue silk with beads, maybe? 
  • making another wooden chest for myself (the pieces are already cut, I just need to assemble the thing and paint it) 
  • Making a court-worthy sideless out of a beautiful piece of blue silk that a friend bought for me for my birthday last week.  Hooray, silk!  <3   
  • Losing fifty pounds by the 22nd.  Riiiiight.  

So there you go.  All that, plus all the work I need to do in the garden, and all the projects in the house I have going on...egad.  And you wonder why I never get anything done. 

a mood board for the purple dress that I made a while back


21 October 2013

I hate thinking up blog titles.

Well, the purple dress I was talking about didn't get finished for Baronial.  In fact, I ended up not being able to go, which made me very sad.  And bored. And lonely, that weekend.  Boo hoo.  I didn't get it done for  was this past weekend, either.  If I want it done by the end of the month, I've got two more weeks, though.

However, I DID want to at least wear my new pie-crust hat for the Barony of Bjornsborg's "Trials of St. Anthony" event this past weekend, so I borrowed a sideless from a friend:

How FUN was this to wear?!  I have GOT to make one for myself!!!

But first I have to finish that damned purple thing, LOL.


08 October 2013

A Sewing Challenge!

SarahLizSewStyle is doing a garment-a-month sewing challenge, and I'm joining in!  I'll be doing it with SCA garments, though - and maybe the occasional mundane piece.  I'd begun a new outfit for our baronial event just last week, so I've decided that that will be my October garment and my first one of this year-long challenge.

If you'd like to get in on the challenge, visit Sarah Liz at her blog here, SarahLizSewStyle:

The dress I've begun (and I spent about two hours on armpit gussets alone last night; apparently this is going to be one of THOSE projects, egad), is a 12th century pendant-sleeve down.  Much like a bliaut in cut, fit, and shaping, but with long drooping sleeve ends that start at the wrist or mid-forearm, rather than the elbow or upper arm like a bliaut.

Inspiration-wise, I give you the following:

Mistress Aénor d'Anjou, a 12th-century clothing Laurel, via Pinterest, and her website.

Revival Clothing's 12th century linen pendant-sleeved gown (there's a red/black version on the website now, though I prefer this photograph).

This lovely and simple gown by Antalika on DeviantArt.  

The fabric I'm working with is an amethyst-colored "antique satin" (a satin or silk substitute developed in the 1950s which can be made of several different combinations of fibers;  mine is rayon and silk), which is cross-woven with black and with a slubbed weave and a very subtle luster on the outside.  I purchased it at Gulf Wars in March, and while I don't have a picture of my actual fabric, it's just about this color, maybe a tad lighter:

SilkBaron's "blackberry" dupioni

I cut out the dress pieces last week; last night I managed to get the body all put together, the neckline shaped, the gores in the skirt and underarm gussets all pieced in, and the sleeve pendants shaped, but not attached.  Not bad for one night!  Especially when you consider that I'm basically improvising this pattern as I go along.  I cut the basic body shapes based on my cotehardie pattern, without didn't cut a neckline so that I could do that later, and a tad large so that I can slip the entire dress over my head.  

This fabric is what my mother used to call "hairy."  It unravels like crazy, and SHEDS EVERYWHERE.  While the fabric itself is strong, trying to pick out an errant line of stitching is like walking on a rotten rope bridge across LAVA.  UGH.  

That said, otherwise, it's been wonderful to work with.  It has some give on the bias, but mostly doesn't stretch at all, so there aren't any weird tension issues with it pulling.  It's lightweight, but with a beautiful heavy drape, and feels wonnnnnnnderful against my skin.  I'm almost disappointed that I have to wear a chemise under it, hehe. 

The fun part is, I have to have the dress finished by THURSDAY NIGHT.  @_@   I still have to create an exterior neck facing and attach it, attach the sleeve pendants, finish all the interior seams, and hem the skirt. If I end up with time, I may also run some very simple embroidery (by hand) along the edge of the neck facing, and maybe around the edges of the sleeve openings, but I'm not sure about that yet.  

For now, the dress is just a pull-over, meant to be wrapped with a loooooong cloth belt (which I don't have, by the way, so there's that).  I'll be wearing my linen pie-crust filet hat, with a linen barbette, and either my large silk veil, or my small chiffon veil with the pearl edging.  Haven't decided yet. 

Fun!  So we'll see how far I get tonight.  Update when finished! 

01 October 2013

Headphones That Don't Actually Work

I really SHOULD make a list of "things I swore I'd never wear but now love".  Might make for an interesting, or at least laughable, post.  Here's another one:

Nice hair, me.  

I've seen ear cauls like this all over the place, and I really love the way they look.  The inspiration for the pair I've made came from here, here, and here, via Pinterest.


THE FIRST RULE OF EAR CAULS IS:  We will not talk about ear cauls!  That is to say, I am not going to discuss or debate the period-ness of them, either to "SCA period" or any point in actual history, nor am I going to discuss or debate construction techniques, artistic interpretation from extant paintings/statuary, or really, any other facet of these things.    

Why did I make these, and why did I make them the way I did?  Because I like them.  End of story. 

Any comments that break the first rule, or begin with the words "actually" or "technically", will be deleted and the posters summarily executed using rabid weasels.  Luv yoo!  


So.  The fun part.  Here's how I did it:  

Clockwise from top left: 
  1. After roaming the house holding random items to the sides of my head, which I assume would have looked hilarious had anyone been there to see it, I finally settled on the cooking implement in the first picture.  I laid a square of cheesecloth over the tool, then made a papiér maché form over that. They're green because that's what color tissue paper I had.   The papiér maché medium I always use is just water and fabric glue.  Nothing fancy. 
  2. Once they were dry, and trimmed into a neat circle (papiér maché is messy, y'all), I whip-stitched a hoop of 20-gauge jewelry wire around the edges, to stabilize the form and the edge and keep them from bending, or tearing.  
  3. Two squares of red faux-silk (both alike in dignity), with strips of gold metallic flat-woven braid sewn in place on my machine.  No, the grid is not straight.  Because yes, I just kinda winged it.  Wang it. Whatever. 
  4. A second glue enters the arena:  general-purpose spray adhesive, which is how the red fabric was affixed to the papiér maché caul forms.  I just kinda smoothed and smooshed it down as flat as I could get it. 
  5. Once the spray adhesive was dry and set (about thirty minutes?) I trimmed the fabric to about 3/4" away from the edge of the caul forms, and then folded them over and hot glued the edges down to the forms.  
  6. More hot glue! After I sewed all those goddamned beads on, and then they all fell off, I hot glued those little bastards.  They stayed put. 
Not pictured:  Last step was to open out a heavy-duty hook from a hook-and-eye set for skirts to about a 38º angle, and then hot glue them in place at the top edge of each caul.  I seated both hooks in a largedollop of glue until it pushed through the holes in the hook where you normally sew them on; then covered the backing of the hook with  glue as well. This was to keep the hooks from popping off.  

The hooks were used to hang each caul from the silver circlet I already wear.  No, they wouldn't have stayed on their own;  but I braided my hair and wrapped it around the front of each caul, both to frame the caul and disguise the rather odd-looking edge, and also so that the hair, pinned in place on my head, would stabilize the placement of the caul.  

Materials used:  
  • kitchen spider/strainer with bamboo handle
  • cheesecloth
  • papiér maché - water + fabric glue, strips of tissue paper
  • strong wire for edges of caul forms 
  • fabric to cover forms
  • trim
  • beads/pearls
  • hook half of a flat skirt hook-n-eye
  • adhesives: 
    • spray adhesive
    • fabric glue
    • hot glue



30 September 2013

Fall Coronation 2013

1.  New cotehardie.  Deep navy silk/poly blend -  a "peachskin" weave, turned wrong-side-out to display the shiny, smooth side, rather than the fuzzy side.  Small (less than half-inch) silver buttons from elbow to wrist, and from the neckline in front all the way to the floor.

At this time, the dress doesn't actually open all the way down the front.  I was in a bit of a rush, and didn't have time to do a millionty buttonholes, so I just sewed the buttons on after closing the front seam.

Also, the dress was originally supposed to have a gray-brown faux-fur trim along the neckline and the lower hem, but I canNOT find my brown fur!!  I have no clue what happened to it! For the time being I ran a line of machine stitching in a vine pattern around the egdes of the dress;  if I ever find the fur, I'll put it on, and at that time, I'll fix the buttons down the front.

2.  Ear cauls!  These babies are getting their own blog entry!  Stay tuned!




26 September 2013


*How "jewelry" is often pronounced in Texas Ansteorra.  

I made a pretty!  

After looking at this gorgeous necklace on Pinterest for like a year, and wanting one like crazy, I finally made something kinda similar:

I DO have an iron key around here somewhere, and when I find it, I WILL put it on this necklace. Thing is, I mislaid it several months ago and am still waiting for it to turn up.

For now, I've used a medallion that I had made at the renaissance festival by the folks with the big coin-stamp machine, with a knotwork star on one side...

And a Scorpio symbol on the other. There's also a medallion jewelry plaque, just to make things jingly.

The smaller medallion is the closure, in the back, with a lobster-claw clasp that hooks to it.

The beads are a mix of green glass beads, most of them Czech glass beads in a translucent mint (from here, where I get most of my nicer jewelry supplies). They were actually FAR too bright a color for me, so I put some gloves on, covered my hands with gold nail polish, and rubbed the beads around between my hands until they were nice and randomly spotted by the gold.  I also mixed in a few scrap brass pieces and other random green glass beads.

I may wear this; but honestly, the texture of the whole necklace feels so nice in my hands, I may end up just carrying it around events to give myself something to fidget with that looks period, rather than using the pink pearl almost-paternoster that I made a few weeks ago.


Anyhow, fall Coronation is in two days!  I have a new dress!  I have a new hat!  I can't wait to show you!  But I have a VERY busy coupla days coming up, so it'll all have to wait til next week (when hopefully I'll have some decent shots of me in my new outfit).


27 August 2013

Okay, One More Box, and Then I'll Start Sewing, I Promise.

Sadly, I didn't have the presence of mind to take a "before" picture of this, but it was basically just a brown wooden box.  Light brown.  I "stained" it with watered-down red craft paint, sprayed it with a super-shiny gloss clearcoat, and lined the inside with some scraps of a vivid blue uncut corduroy (feels/looks like velvet, but sturdier).

It's hard to tell except in the last picture, which is horribly over-exposed with flash, because it's the only way I could get the red edging to show - the box edges are highlighted in a shiny red lacquer paint, to hide some flaws in the stain, and to better blend the edges of the wood and the blue "velvet" visually.  

Okay, NOW I'm going to go sew.  Two weeks to go from first-draft-pattern to completed 12th century side-laced pendant-sleeve gown.  No pressure. 



26 August 2013

The Big Black Box

I needed a six-panel chest.  You know the one, it's ubiquitous in the SCA.  It comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, finishes, and types of detail.  It's SO handy.

Enter this guy:  

This is a wooden toybox that my grandfather built for me when I was only a year old.  It's as old as me, and like me, it was showing a bit of wear.  It's been useful and beloved throughout it's thirty*COUGH* years, but lacking a hinged top made its use a bit limited.  Eventually it was relegated to storage, tucked on top of a shelf in my garage.

I was hesitant, at first, to refinish it at all (even though I hated the paint job - it's green/yellow on the other two sides), because it was my grandfather's work, I finally decided that I'd rather change it and use it and love it anew, than let it rot on top of a high shelf - and why not look at it like this: he put loving work into this thing, so why shouldn't I? This is as close as we would get to having worked on it together.

The paint was old enough to have been lead, possibly, so I did no sanding.  I spent weeks scraping and peeling and covering it with liquid and foam paint remover, before finally giving up once I realized that even where I'd gotten through the paint, it had long since soaked into the wood, and it would never be stain-able.  So I scraped it smooth, applied a wood conditioner to re-hydrate it, sealed some slightly separated joinery, and painted it inside and out.

From there, the rest was all fun.  I've been working on this guy all summer (you saw the background on the lid, and the smaller box which was kind of a dry run for this one).  Here's the finished product:

Black outside, and mint-green-blue inside (because that's
the color I had, hehe.  The top is stained because it was
cut from an old desktop, and was already finished.  

A close-up of the decorative mountings, which are
just jewelry plaques bent and nailed on with small tacks. 

The handles on the sides, which are simple drawer pulls,
backed with more jewelry plaques.   Not remotely period,
but, as with all facets of this project, I used materials
I already had on hand. 

On the outside of the lid is a mural that took me like three weeks to paint.
I absolutely love it, warts and all, from the derpy little deer to the appalling
mélange of artistic styles used  (this is a learning project, you guys).

See?   I do love how all the colors came out, though, and overall I'm quite
pleased with the finished chest. 

I do have to say that the sky is my favorite thing, though.  It doesn't show
well in these pics, but all of the gold is metallic.  Not leafing paint (my jar
of leafing paint is stuck shut!), but my trusty gold liquid paint pen. 

So, this is going to be my nightstand in my tent, and very likely full of underwear and socks, hehe.  Very few people will ever even see it, but that's okay with me.  I'm really pleased with it, and I want to keep it where I can see it all the time, and where it won't be damaged by the elements.

Next up, woodworking-wise, is another, smaller chest, that I'll be building from scratch; but with the first event of the season only weeks away, I need to lock myself in my sewing room for a while.
See you guys on the flipside.


14 August 2013

Hippies With Tattoos Like Historical Recreation, Too

Once upon a time, many pious folks carried with them a rosary, or paternoster (lit. "our father") to assist them in their daily prayers.  Much like the Buddhist japa mala, the idea was that passing the beads through your fingers helps you keep track of how many prayers have been said/have yet to be said.  The mala is made with beads in multiples of 108; a paternoster usually in 10s or 50s.

(the priest standing behind the seated Madgalene)

While I'm not so into role-playing in the SCA that I need to assign my persona a religious affiliation, I DO like:

  • making jewelry, and
  • shiny things, and 
  • keys
I also happened to have a quantity of large, pink, freshwater pearls, as well as some metal pieces I've been meaning to use for something pretty (I cleaned up my jewelry-making supplies and organized them all more efficiently recently, and I came across lots of things that gave me ideas).

I also really love the look of pretty things hanging from my belt.  I have a number of purses now, a cigarette case (and I no longer smoke, but I can keep other small items in it), and my search for the perfect belt hanger is ongoing.  I wanted something shiny.

Ta-da.   I like it.

The chain at the top will loop around my belt.  Period paternosters would simply end in a bead or finial of some kind and be carried in a pocket or simply tucked into a belt; but I'm not willing to risk this thing falling out of my belt and getting lost at an event.

(And if I decide I don't want the chain, it's easily removed.  Tbh, I'm still not sure I won't go back and close the loop, making this a circle with a key hanging from it).

The key at the end is just a little pewter thing from the craft store - I picked up a pack of them once for another project.  I love old keys.  I have a lovely iron one which I would have used instead, but I lost it several months ago.  :(

Thank goodness for bead reamers. I used up the best of this strand of pearls on a necklace a while ago; what was left had holes too small for the wires to go through, so I can to enlarge every single one.  Bo-ring.

For those who would ask, my "paternoster" IS actually a mala in disguise (12 beads, counting the key at the end).  Not that I get much meditating done while at SCA events, hehe, but it's meaningful to me, and while it's not 100% period, it enhances the overall costume.

Peace, y'all.


09 August 2013



Remember the little painted black box?  I'm doing a much larger version - a 24" six-panel wooden chest.  The box itself is nearly finished, and painted; now I'm working on the box top:

(part of the upper right corner)  


I've also decided I need a Tudor corset.  I don't have a pattern, and I don't feel like drafting one from scratch, so I'm drafting one from an old renfest corset that still [mostly] fits me.  The first part was getting it on and laced up, and then marked with a chalk pencil where I'll be making shape and sizing adjustments:


And just for fun (because I'm still in the process of re-organizing my sewing and craft/art rooms, and because I had to re-organize my jewelry supplies into better containers and had the beads out anyway), I made a little necklace to wear with...whatever!  To me it says "rubies and pomegranate arils", even though it's just glass and tiny tumbled garnets.

More soon.


08 August 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've reached that point where I'm in the middle of several things, but with nothing yet to show off here, so today you get to see my garb closet.

This is the closet in my master bedroom, which was my ex-boyfriend's closet.  (My closet is actually inside the master bathroom).  I've always wanted two things:  a dedicated garb closet, and not to have towels in my clothing closet.  

So now I have that!  Gowns on the left, chemises and braies folded on hangers underneath behind the gowns, a little dresser and some baskets/boxes for bits and pieces, and all of my towels on the lower shelf.  (Top shelf is boring storage for random stuff) .

On the right side is this double café curtain rod set which I purchased at the dollar store for a whole whopping *dollar* (guess that's why they call it that).  Here are my veils, belts, and pairs of sleeves, clipped to the rods where I can see them at a glance, and grab them easily and quickly while I'm picking out my outfits for an event and packing them up. Ta-da!


Meanwhile, I will continue work on:

  1. another small, painted box
  2. a large painted box
  3. a 12th century pendant-sleeve gown
  4. a Tudor corset

Back soon!